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  • Merlin
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428 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The most magical adventure of all time. Imagine a world where dreams come true… and magic is real. In a time long past, when magic was fading from the world of men, the malevolent sorceress Mab (Miranda Richardson) summoned forth a mighty wizard to keep the power of the Old Ways alive. The wizard's name… was Merlin (Sam Neill). But when his heart is touched by the love of the beautiful Nimue (Isabella Rossellini), Merlin turns away from Mab's dark enchantments. Allying himself with the young warrior who will rise to become the legendary King Arthur, Merlin pledges his mystic skills to Arthur's visionary cause: bringing peace and justice to the realm haunted by monsters and ravaged by war—and setting the stage for the ultimate dash of Good versus Evil. With spellbinding performances from the stellar international cast and spectacular special effects from Jim Henson's Creature Shop, Merlin conjures up and epic Golden Age of wondrous magic, supernatural passions and unforgettable adventure!

Special Features

  • Making-of featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Sam Neill, Helena Bonham Carter, John Gielgud, Rutger Hauer, James Earl Jones
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Live / Artisan
  • DVD Release Date: September 16, 1998
  • Run Time: 182 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (428 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 1574925628
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,602 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Merlin" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Selitrenny on May 10, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There is nothing on this disc, that was not already in the previous one.

Nothing except perhaps the Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Stereo sound, which in the previous appearance had been reduced to a simple 2.0 Channel Stereo sound.

The specials are the very same you had before.

The screen ratio remains the classic TV 1.33:1 ratio screen resolution, which can be "expanded" to Full Screen, but watching the actual filming of the movie in the Making of, I seemed to have recognized a Panaflex camera moving around, hence it could have been transferred either in 1.78:1 or even in a matted 1.85:1 screen ratio as well.

But perhaps they already lost that copy.

Anyway, the acting by everyone involved in this project is magnificent and involving. Sam Neill, Martin Short, Miranda Richardson and Helena Bonham-Carter, without forgetting brief appearances by Rutger Hauer and John Gielgud give their very best and seem to truly have fun playing their respective roles.

The story flows and grips you from the very first shot, to the very last, without ever becoming too obvious or boring.

The special effects for a TV Movie of that era (late Nineties) are exceptional and very well interwoven within the story, without ever becoming overbearing on the plot.

This is the true Family Movie everyone should have. It has fun moments, dramatic moments and even magical moments for everyone to enjoy.

If this movie had been made to be shown in movie theaters, I am sure it would have won an Oscar for best leading Actor (Sam Neill as Merlin) and also best supporting Actress (Miranda Richardson in her double role as Mab, Queen of the Old Ways and as the Lady of the Lake).

I can highly recommend it in the present format.
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70 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Taylor on August 1, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I missed this movie when it was on TV, and I totally regretted it. The next day at school, EVERYONE was talking about how great it is. I resolved to see it when it came out on video. When I did, I was totally blown away! I mean, the acting was spectacular *special kudos go out to Miranda Richardson for her fabulous job as Queen Mab, and Isabella Rosselini, for being an excellent Nimue*, the plot was excellently written, and the setting/costumes were fabulous! Some of you biased reviewers *you know who you are* insist that Merlin "doesn't measure up" to Excalibur and that it isn't "historically correct". Gimme a break! First of all, why does Merlin have to be compared to Excalibur? Why can't you people just enjoy it for what it is? Secondly, let me say this loud and clear: THE ARTHURIAN LEGENDS ARE NOT HISTORY! THEY ARE LEGENDS! THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG TELLING OF THEM! Now that I've said that, I hope that everyone reading this will take my thoughts into consideration. If you haven't seen this movie and you like tales of adventure, romance, and magic, I DEFINITELY recommend it.
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92 of 109 people found the following review helpful By Jason Baker on April 15, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I own several movies that tell the same tale in different ways, the tale of Merlin and King Arthur and Sir Lancelot. Of these the ones that have really stood out are "The Mists Of Avalon" , "Excalibur" and "Merlin". Of these 3 I must say that Merlin is my favorite. This is because the first 2 while wonderfully told and acted out, the endings were far from happy and feel good and more remeniscent of classic French movies with their tragic endings with only small glimmers of brightness. Merlin,however, is a fairy tale movie with a fairy tale ending..a happy one.. There is also quite a lot of humor and wit blended in this movie as well. If you enjoy movies that take place during the Arthurian time period then this is one you will want to add to your collection!
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful By sharksignco on February 10, 2000
Format: DVD
I have been studying the Arthurian legends for well over 15 years, and guess what, folks? They're just that... legends. So all of the ranting about "historical" accuracy is a contradiction of terms. It seems people judged this movie more on their expectations and preconceived notions of Arthurian legends than having an open mind to Barron's interpretation. And will everyone please get over Helena Bonham Carter's leather outfit? I, for one, enjoyed it, and if most were honest, they did too. Everyone talks about how WONDERFUL Excalibur was, Boorman being a visionary, blah blah blah. Excalibur WAS a great film, but it annoyed the hell out of me as well. EXCALIBUR was designed for us who knew something about Camelot, because if you don't, you are lost and bored 10 minutes into it. And the most severe detriment to EXCALIBUR is Boorman's dumb decision to redub every damned line of dialogue. At times it comes off as cartoonish as the voice inflection sometimes is mismatched with what's going on on the screen. After reading all 140+ mostly negative reviews of MERLIN, it's time for me to add my own. This was an AWESOME version of the Arthurian legend, and showed some great elements of MANY works on Camelot, including the beautiful imagery of Marion Zimmer Bradley's MISTS OF AVALON, just to name one. Reading some reviews, I wonder if we saw the same movie? I know this will blow some narrow minds up out there, but Malory's MORTE D' ARTHUR is not the end all and be all of the legend. Expand your minds! Read as many versions as you can get your hands on! And stop blathering about historical accuracy, and enjoy Merlin for what it is: A great retelling, from the wizard's perspective, of the FAIRYTALE of Camelot.Read more ›
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